IBM Cognos Review

View all the numbers through one single platform to make business decisions, but pay for the privilege


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for the solution is just pure BI (Business Intelligence) delivery.  

How has it helped my organization?

After centralizing the data, the people using the product have the ability to view all the numbers through one single platform. It is also providing them the information they need in order to make their business decisions.  

What is most valuable?

Cognos has a drag-and-drop interface for selecting packages to use in creating their own ad hoc reports and this makes it very easy to use. A second thing that is valuable is the way that it allows you to customize the security.  

What needs improvement?

So far we do not have any issues with the functionality. The cost per year could be improved. They are the leader in the industry and they charge a lot. If you are the end-user and you want to work with the leader you cannot complain about the cost and you have to pay for it.  

If they were going to make improvements, I would say that they could do more related to big data. I think they were lacking in the initial phases of development in this area. I am not sure if they may have addressed these concerns already because I have not seen their new capabilities in more recent releases. But initially, it was lacking strength in the area of big data.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product since I joined this company is 2013. So I have been using it for about seven years.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have been running the Cognos environment from 2013 onward. In that time, I have never seen a single instance of it going down. The small bugs come and go just like that. There have been a few small bugs, but never anything that was around for long. Even a product like Microsoft which has tremendous development resources is releasing monthly patches. Every product will have small issues.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We currently have mostly data management people using the product and that is a total of about 200 people using the reports.  

How are customer service and technical support?

In my lifetime, I have never had to call technical support for Cognos. That is from my experience. I never had any issue that was too difficult to deal with myself and I never needed to go to them directly. I have no first-hand experience with support. It probably suggests something about the quality of the product if in seven years you never have to consult the company for technical support.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have not switched. We chose it because it was the industry leader in this category. It was our initial selection and we never went back.  

How was the initial setup?

The setup is straightforward. If the organization has a very complex architecture, I would say it might take many months to implement it properly. But setting up the environment is normally just a couple of hours or maybe a day or two of work. Generally, I would say it is easy to do the initial setup. It was easy for us.  

What other advice do I have?

I think as per my understanding, everyone has their own criterion and measure for the way a product fits into their scenario. If they have the resources and can budget for the investment in this product and if they have the kind of infrastructure that warrants the investment, definitely to go for this product. If the business or user has budget constraints, I would say there are a lot more other options. It comes down to the capabilities of the different solutions and how they satisfy user needs.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate this product a seven-out-of-ten. I keep three points back because I feel that in being a leader, they are missing some of the functionality that they should have already which is somewhat basic. Everything it should be supporting is not there. Big data support came very late into Cognos and the product is too costly, I would say.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

Version 11
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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